London - Forget broccoli, goji berries or wheatgrass juice — the new “superfood” to kick-start your New Year diet is a cup of tea.

Matcha is a vivid green powdered tea which was first drunk during the Song Dynasty in China. Now, nearly 1,000 years after its heyday, it is back as a health food thanks to its high levels of antioxidants — which help the body to fight off infection and disease. It is also reputed to reduce stress and help weight-loss.

While other teas use only the smooth parts of the leaf, matcha is made from the leaves, veins and stem. Once picked, it is ground by hand into a fine, talc-like powder. The caffeine content is higher than regular green tea, but lower than coffee.

Buddhist monks used to drink it as part of a meditation ritual, but today matcha can be taken in many different ways. Holland & Barrett sell powdered matcha that can be sprinkled onto porridge or muesli and offer a liquid matcha “shot” mixed with cranberry juice. - Daily Mail